There's a new theatre company in town, and its first Off-Broadway production—the world premiere of Barbara Hammond’s Terra Firma—is already slated for the fall. Founded by actor Andrus Nichols, The COOP will produce both old plays reinvigorated through a new lens and new plays that resonate with timeless themes and universal truths.
The company was conceived with a mission to foster a community of NYC-based artists interested in making great theatre ethically and with a spirit of collaboration, experimentation, and trust. Nichols is artistic director; Jacob Janssen is artistic producer, Drew Ledbetter is head of the literary department, and Samantha Steinmetz is the digital media manager.
The COOP's playwright in residence is Little Women writer Kate Hamill. Her first contemporary play, The Piper, is currently being developed by The Coop, with production details to be announced shortly.
The company's inaugural production, Terra Firma, will be directed by Shana Cooper at The Rose Nagelberg Theatre at the Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue). A co-production with Baruch, performances will begin September 27.
Inspired by a real life event, Terra Firma is set in a not-so-distant Beckettian future, years after a conflict known as The Big War, where a tiny kingdom wrestles with the problems of running a nation, and spars with different concepts of what makes a citizen, a country, and a civilization.
Next up, The COOP will present Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, directed by James Dean Palmer. Full cast, creative team, and production dates will be announced at a later date.
The COOP’s Artistic Advisory Board is made up of Patricia Black, Midori Francis, Robyn Kerr, Carman Lacivita, Drew Ledbetter, Jason O’connell, James Dean Palmer, and John Russell.
Visit TheCOOPpnyc.org for more information.